Many small dogs, like Yorkies, fear big, noisy appliances. This is especially true when it comes to the vacuum cleaner. Not only does this strange creature make a loud noise, it abruptly moves around the room, taking over your dog's "safe" space.
The courage to face the vacuum cleaner
You can't put your Yorkie in a different room every time you vacuum because that will only reinforce his fear. Instead, try desensitizing him by following these steps:
- Let them get acquainted: Allow your dog to become comfortable around the vacuum cleaner when it's not on. Simply place your vacuum cleaner on the floor in your hallway and place a treat near the machine. If your dog approaches it, let him eat the treat and give him a lot of praise. Try this for a couple of days, eventually changing the location of the vacuum cleaner and removing the treat. Your dog should now be able approach the vacuum cleaner with no problems.
- Turn on the vacuum: The next step involves turning on the vacuum but not moving it. Place a treat in the same room as the vacuum cleaner while it's still on. If your dog eats the treat and does not react to the noise, give him a lot of praise. Gradually decrease the space between the treat and the vacuum cleaner.
- Move it around the room: When your dog is finally comfortable with the vacuum cleaner being on, start to vacuum small areas of your home. If your dog is comfortable, praise him and give him a treat. Eventually, your dog should become completely comfortable with you vacuuming your home.
The big, bad blow dryer
Most Yorkies hate the noise and hot air that come out of a blow dryer. However, since your Yorkie will be around a blow dryer his entire life, either at home or at the groomer's, it's important that he learn to react calmly. Here's what you can do:
- Blow dry your own hair: Keep your dog in the bathroom with you as you blow dry your own hair. If he does not try to run and hide, give him a treat and praise him.
- Introduce him to the blow dryer: Once your Yorkie is calm enough to stay around the blow dryer when you dry your own hair, allow him to sniff it and become comfortable with it. Once again praise him and give him a treat.
- Keep it on low: With the blow dryer on low (both low heat and low air flow), turn the nozzle away from your Yorkie but keep it close to him. Praise him and give him a treat if he is able to tolerate the blow dryer being near him.
- Blow some air on his shoulder: Once your dog accustomed to the noise of the blow dryer, and even being close to it, turn the nozzle towards him. With the air on low, blow some air onto his shoulders. If your dog is comfortable, slowly increase the amount of time you keep the blow dryer on and the area that you are drying. Also, avoid blowing around his face, especially the eyes.